It should be clarified that there are such models of interpersonal communication as linear, interactive, and transactional (Wood, 2012). During my visit to the synagogue, my family and I were guided by a friend of the extended family, who was unknown to me. the model of our interaction was a linear one because the guide simply informed my family and I about the rules of the synagogue, which I acted upon. During that time, my focus was on following proper protocol and I did not provide any feedback for or to our guide as it was not necessary within my role of observer.
There are also different levels of communication. For instance, communication can be of I-It, I-You, I-Thou levels (Wood, 2012). During my visit to the synagogue, the level of communication could be defined as I-You communication because I did not consider the other person as a unique individual. That person only shared with me with necessary information. At the same time, I was also not considered unique because I was a recipient of particular data. Our guide, by doing a favor for the family in showing us around, did not place my emphasis on the overall experience. Rather they were concerned with simply executing a task.
Such issue as features of interpersonal communication should also not be neglected. The communication near the synagogue might have had a selective feature because I chose a person and addressed him in order to find out more about policies that should be followed before entering the synagogue. I observed a confident man in a national Jewish hat, who was walking intently toward the synagogue, though is pace was not hurried. As I humbly approached the man in an effort to ask him some questions, he shifted his gaze from me, to which I interpreted as a communication that he did not want to speak to or address me. In that situation, I had made some conclusions at my cognitive level before started talking with that Jewish man. His non-verbal communication translated effortlessly to me. I was able to redirect my questions to our guide. After my questions, the guide further explained not just the traditions, but the reasons behind the traditions which gave them meaning. With meaning and appreciation, my family and I were able to enter the synagogue appropriately and avoid offending the Jewish people inside.
It should be emphasized that for every modern person principles of interpersonal communication can be applied (Wood, 2012). For example, it is impossible to avoid communication for any modern person. Communication surrounds a person wherever they go and is present in any sphere of life. In order to get or share information, find out about news, get new experience, and express emotions, it is crucial to communicate with others. In the process of communication, a person is likely to make a certain impact on the other person without even noticing whether this impact is positive or negative. While my attempted interaction with the Jewish man at the entrance of the synagogue could be interpreted as negative, I cognitively hold firm that my experiences are different than his, and I chose to not be offended by his desire to avoid interacting with me.
Ethical implications can also become the basis of interpersonal communication. While guiding my family to and through the synagogue, some ethical principles were followed. If these principles had been neglected, the visit would not have been so magnificent. Had I demonstrated an indifference to their culture or a disrespectful attitude towards their religion and culture, they would have asked me to leave the synagogue. In order to overcome such hurdles, it is better to make such ethical choices that would not offend the other people who surround you. One more principle under consideration is about constructing meanings. In accordance with this principle, it is necessary to provide particular information in the process of communication. Nonverbal symbols might not be as significant as the meaning that a person wants to convey in the process of communication.
It should be highlighted that some people consider interpersonal communication as a panacea from other problems. The action of speaking is not enough to solve a particular problem. Body language, tone used while speaking, symbols, and sincerity are elements of interpersonal communication that must be navigated carefully when solving problems. Communication can seem complicated at times. It takes a lot of effort to make a communication process beneficial for both sides.
It is possible to improve one’s communication process. Hence, some guidelines should be followed. The first guideline is about developing some skills (Wood, 2012). These skills are connected with the ability to demonstrate sympathy. Moreover, the skill of listening is also paramount in the process of communication. The listening process can be challenging as it consists of stages that are receiving messages, selecting and organizing material, interpreting communication, responding and remembering. In the process of listening, it is also crucial to express care if it is needed to the person who expresses reliance to you. Ethically, it will be immoral if there are any attempts made in order to deceive this person. There are also cases when people need a talk to release their emotions, and after doing so their inner state becomes peaceful. The communication process provides them with the opportunity to talk about problems and escape them.
The next guideline is about adopting communication appropriately. In accordance with this guideline, it is crucial to be flexible to various communicative situations. This skill might help to avoid hurdles during a cross-cultural communication. One more guideline is devoted to monitoring personal communication. It should be emphasized that such phenomena as control of emotions, appropriate intonations, and loudness should not be neglected. The last guideline under consideration is about committing to effective and ethical communication. It is complicated to make communication effective when some of its participants neglect ethical principles leading to irreversible consequences.
A trip to Israel helped me to better understand myself. The abilities to be more patient and a desire to find out more about other cultures and religions appeared during that trip. Additionally, I realized that despite people having different religious beliefs, principles, and ideals there is something common among them. For example, the feeling of love of a family is one of the most crucial values in life for a great number of people. It is also significant to strongly believe in God. It can be assumed that there are different names of God in religions; however, the meaning is similar, and it is connected with the creator of everything that is on the Earth. Such belief might imbue any person with power that can help to follow moral principles in any aspect of life.
In summary, I have provided a description of the experience gained during a visit to Israel and attended a synagogue. My experience was important for me as I can apply things I learned to other spheres of life. At the same time, this experience could not be got without the usage of rules of the interpersonal communication. This perspective has helped me to choose the most appropriate forms of communication in accordance with a particular situation. Hence, I managed to acquire new knowledge in the process of communicating with others. Being mindful of factors and the features of interpersonal communication can help lead to more meaningful and insightful experiences with others.